“Traversing,” an electronic female voice said. The lights in the small room dimmed for several seconds. Paz held her breath in the dark but released it when the lights brightened to normal again. The 14-year-old girl tightened her dark brown pony-tail, then she cracked her knuckles. She gathered her nerves and walked around command console to the closed metal door.
[There yet? -Jasmn] Paz jumped when the unexpected Whisper tickled her inner ear. She felt like the only one of her friends that minded the way nanos vibrated her eardrum. She closed her eyes to concentrate on her reply.
[Just got here. -Paz]
[Stay in touch. -Jasmn] Jasmine suggested.
[K. -Paz] Paz took a deep breath then opened her eyes. She leaned forward and pushed the green glowing button on the side of the door. The large, barn-style door made a whooshing sound as it rolled open.
She stared out at the bleak, jagged landscape and saw her destination in the distance. A mountain range glowed red against the dark purple sky. Jagged Obsidian spikes jutted out of the stone ground between Paz and the mountain range.
“That princess better be worth it,” Paz thought to herself. Finally, she made up her mind with a solid head nod and stepped through the doorway. Heavy, full-plate armor formed around her body as she crossed the threshold. She emerged on the other side of the door wearing silver armor. She smirked and clenched her fists in the metal gauntlets.
[It’s a stupid retro server! -Paz] she complained to the only person she could.
[You can hit Frank later. -Jasmn] Paz smiled to herself as she shifted in her armor to get used to its weight again. Then, once she felt ready, Paz started the journey forward across the stone wasteland. The jagged towers slowed her progress, but after several hours the rocky, uneven ground ended. An amber wheat field danced in the wind at the foot of the red luminescent mountains.
She took one step into the field then stopped; a sudden high pitched clicking sound filled the air. Red glowing nanos filled the air above the wheat. The swarm condensed into a red glowing hourglass shape that hovered in mid-air. A flash of purple lightning arced across the sky, its violet light illuminated a giant black spider attached to the red hourglass. Paz smiled and equipped her weapon. A swarm of nanos formed a black, double-bladed battle axe in Paz’s hands. The spider charged at Paz, but the girl smiled and lifted her axe high.
“Stone Splitter!” she yelled. The spider charged at her, but Paz slammed her axe into the ground using all her strength. The weapon made a metal clink against the black stone ground and chipped out a small crack. Her expected skill did not activate. “What?” She had a moment to wonder before the spider lifted her off the ground between its mandibles. Her axe remained embedded in the ground while the spider carried her away.